Time in a Bottle

No vessel has the potential to communicate so much about a specific time and place as a bottle of wine.  At Dovecote, our wine’s purpose is to capture and convey an authentic sense of its distinct location and seasonal story.

We craft wine as a way of celebrating our family’s collective experience by allowing our vineyard to slowly render every vintage’s unique monograph.  From the first buds of rebirth during misty spring mornings, to the slow and gentle ripening over balmy summer afternoons, to the anticipation of harvest during cool autumn nights, and finally the long exhale during winter’s rest.  We put our hearts into the land each year and are rewarded with nature’s most sincere time capsule.

We also believe there is uncommon beauty in Earth’s elusive tides and currents.  Our wines are all connected by their unwavering sense of place, yet each will always be true to its own first journey around the sun.

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Dovecote 2015 Estate Thompson Redtail


Thompson Vineyard, Alisos Canyon

Treatise of the Vintage

Redtail’s purpose is to honor each vintage’s disposition with unaltered purity of fruit and a complex but balanced harmony of composition. It is a tribute in name to the lords of the sky at Dovecote, our numerous resident families of beautiful red-tailed hawks. As we farm, we carefully observe the palette of grapes grown on our vineyard. Every vintage is unique, and specific varietals shine brightly during different years. We then harvest and blend the season’s most compelling red fruit and craft a wine that highlights its distinct combined character. Grapes are hand harvested at night, meticulously hand-sorted and foot-crushed by family and close friends. After cold soaking, the wine ferments in small open-top bins and is then gently pressed and aged for 12-18 months in all neutral French oak barrels.  It is bottle-rested for a minimum of a year before release.

Current Vintages

2015 2016 Become a Member Purchase Wine

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Dovecote 2015 Estate Thompson Syrah

Estate Syrah

Thompson Vineyard, Alisos Canyon

Ancient Origins, Dauntless Roots

In the early 1970’s a brave California winemaker smuggled bootleg Syrah cuttings in from the legendary Chapoutier vineyard in Hermitage France, the birthplace of Syrah itself where it’s been cultivated for over 2500 years. Wine pioneer David Thompson heard about these special vines and believed they could produce complex, powerful, and long-lived wines in a cool site with terroir that closely matched their origin. David acquired cuttings in 1990 and the naked wood was bravely pushed directly into the sandy soil without protective rootstock, preserving an unfiltered expression of its unique DNA yet also exposing it to deadly pests and diseases.  Against all odds, these original own-rooted “Estrella River” vines survived, still yielding extremely limited quantities of densely concentrated fruit today. Dovecote Estate Syrah is crafted to exhibit the complex mosaic of dark, savory, and haunting qualities found only in cool-climate Syrah.  It is structured, voluptuous, and powerful while maintaining uncanny finesse.  This wine can take years in bottle to begin truly revealing itself, then aging and improving over multiple decades. Vines are delicately farmed at very low yields, hand harvested at night. Fruit is meticulously hand-sorted and cold soaked, fermenting in small open-top bins. It is then gently pressed, and aged for up to 36 months in mostly neutral French oak barrels.  Wine is captured unfiltered, and then bottle-rested for a minimum of another year before release.

Current Vintages

2015 Become a Member Purchase Wine

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Dovecote 2017 Estate Grenache Blanc

Estate Grenache Blanc

Thompson Vineyard, Alisos Canyon

Fruit on the Limb

In the mid-2000’s, master winemaker Craig Jaffurs convinced David Thompson to take a risk and graft over some of his old Cabernet Franc vines to a new varietal.  Less than 100 acres existed in California at the time, but France’s Rhone Valley had long produced distinctly elegant food-driven Grenache Blancs.  Craig was convinced the cool climate at Thompson Vineyard could produce a classic style with a perfect balance of minerality, acidity, and aromatics.  The gamble paid off — Thompson Vineyard’s Grenache Blanc turned out to be exquisite. At Dovecote we’ve graciously taken the baton to produce our own estate Grenache Blanc.  Never heavy-handed, sweet, or oaky, it is bright and elegant, and always a delicious complement on the table, in a picnic basket, or as a refreshing end to the day. Grapes are hand harvested and sorted at night. The fruit is then pressed whole cluster directly to barrel and fermented in stainless steel with no secondary fermentation. It is bottled fresh and ready to enjoy over the next 2-4 years.

Current Vintages

2017 2018 Become a Member Purchase Wine

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Dovecote Estate Viognier

Estate Viognier

Quail Valley Vineyard, Los Olivos District

A Tiny Vineyard With a Bold Voice

Dovecote Estate Viognier is produced from a single-acre vineyard planted on rocky alluvial soil in 1998 within a relatively cool area of the Los Olivos District AVA.  Today we lovingly hand-farm it without any machinery or power equipment. When we acquired the vineyard in 2014, it had been ignored for years by its prior owners who had lost interest in the finicky tedium of viticulture.  We believed in the potential of the site, which lies in a narrow valley that permits enough warmth to ripen the fruit slowly and retain acidity, while also limiting harsh sun exposure that can mute Viognier’s beautiful aromatics.  Over the next three years we worked to revive the spirit of our Quail Valley Vineyard, and in 2017 it rewarded us with our first vintage of perfect fruit. Our Estate Viognier is made in a fresh, acid-driven style inspired by the classic Northern Rhone whites.  It is sensually expressive and perfumed, yet gracefully sculpted by a skeleton of minerality and delicate floral aromatics.  On the table, it serves as a wonderful companion to rich flavors and spiced dishes.  Grapes are hand harvested and sorted at night. The fruit is then pressed whole cluster directly to barrel and fermented in stainless steel with no secondary fermentation.  It is bottled fresh and ready to enjoy over the next 5 years.

Current Vintages

2017 Become a Member Purchase Wine

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